Are you ever confused about where God has you and what He is doing? Do you ever wonder why things don’t go as you planned? Does your thought-life tempt you to doubt God’s sovereignty? Maybe we should look at Paul’s life.
In Acts 16, we see that Paul wanted to go to Asia, but the Holy Spirit told him not to but directed him to go to Macedonia. Shortly after arriving in Philippi, a city of Macedonia and a Roman colony, he was imprisoned. Off and on throughout much of his life, he was in prison.
This is the Apostle Paul! The guy who had a tremendous impact on the foundation of the Christian Church, and what has become today, was prevented from spreading the gospel in a highly-populated area in Asia where he wanted to go, to be instead directed to go to Macedonia and be imprisoned shortly after his arrival. In the limited several days after his arrival, two people became saved before his imprisonment: Lydia (and her whole house was baptized) and a demon-possessed woman following him. Then when he was imprisoned, the jailer became saved as well after interactions with Paul. So, three people!! To us, this makes no sense that God would confine the evangelist Paul in a prison cell where he can’t preach the gospel to many people.
If you were Paul, wouldn’t you have been a little confused about your calling and tempted to question God’s judgment about where he should send you? But, Paul wrote letters to the Churches from prison- it’s where we get much of the writing in the New Testament that encouraged the Church back then and today. And to top it off, Paul makes no mention of his frustration with where he is positioned. He simply trusts God, decides to be a light where he is, and is obedient to where God has placed him.
We know now, God knew exactly what He was doing. We need to trust God’s sovereignty, even when things don’t make sense to us. He knows what we need, what the world needs, and how we fit in His design to accomplish His plan, not ours.
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